Notes From A First Time Audiobook Publisher

Leonard Johnson is a first time author who recently became a first time audiobook publisher through ACX. He joins us today to talk about getting reviews by leaving reviews and keeping audio in mind when writing his next books.

Tell us about your recent audiobook project.

My recent audiobook project is “BloodLoss – Ten Twisted Tales.” An awesome gentleman named Jonathan Waters narrated each and every twisted tale.

Leonard JohnsonWhy did you decide to produce an audio version of your title?

I was talking to a few folks at work about my book. One of my coworkers said he hasn’t checked it out because it’s not an audiobook.  After a few conversations, I found out there is a part of the population that will only listen to audiobooks. I started investigating if it would be feasible to create a BloodLoss audiobook. Ultimately, the main reason I choose to create an audiobook was that, through ACX, it would have access to multiple markets, like Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

What have your marketing efforts for this book been?

My marketing is usually limited to Facebook, blog, word of mouth, and well placed business cards at the donut shop. For Bloodloss, I decided to try a different strategy. I read books from other authors in similar genres and posted reviews on my blog for free. I ask for nothing in return. My thought is they will browse my site, maybe even link to it. If that happens, then I get potential customers. It’s a “pay-it-forward” type of situation.

BloodlossHas having your audio version produced affected your writing? How?

It didn’t change the way I see BloodLoss, however it has shown me that some of my future material is perfect for the audiobook experience. When you’re putting words to paper, you know they’ll translate to just about any medium: paperback, eBook, etc. Yet content is not always easy to convey in audio. Now, when I write something I think might be a good candidate for an audiobook, I pay attention to how I write it. I do not want a narrator to have difficulties producing because I was generous with my tones.

What’s your next project, and when will we see it on ACX?

Since I embrace my ADD, I have about five projects I work on at the same time. I’m putting the finishing touches on a poker guide, I just finished a short story called Barghest, which will be out on Amazon next month. I am also working on a book dedicated to my dad called “Living with Leonard” which I plan on narrating myself and publishing on ACX.

Are you an ACX success story? Tell us why and you might be next on the blog!

6 responses to “Notes From A First Time Audiobook Publisher

  1. Thanks for the tips. I’m working on my first audiobook as we speak, Maid for Martin, Romance. I’m now taking auditions. I think you’re right about watching how we write and thinking Audio. I’ve notice while listening to an audio book that it’s very important when writing dialogue to make the transition smooth, when changing from character to character.

    I will be looking more at these issues while writing and editing my next novel. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned.

    Samantha Fury
    Author of the Street Justice Series
    Samantha Lovern
    Maid for Martin

  2. Just finishing the audiobook of my novel Twenty-One Steps of Courage, an Army action story. It’s my first audiobook, and I learned a lot. While reviewing corrections sent by the narrator, after several frustrating days, I discovered my iTunes app archived all the versions and when playing a new one, instead of listening to the correction, iTunes opened an old file. Once this came to light, the rest was easy. I also allowed the narrator to edit a bit to suit the voice. I have a great respect for the written word and now the spoken word as well. All in all the result is fine.

  3. Just Finishing up my voice work on”The London Lunatic”…My 1st Audio book. It’s a well written horror story set in London. The Main character Jonathan has a very unique perspective on life. It’s hard to tell who the “Lunatic” really is as you get into the story. It was very Challenging. There are several characters who speak in turn and to be able to identify who the dialogue is coming from pitch changes became a necessary device to incorporate to assist the reader (listener) in following the story.The challenge to that was to be consistent throughout the book with the characters. male and female. My voice is deep. The female voices were extremely tough. In the end..The writer was satisfied (so I guess I did the Job that was expected without ruining the project).
    For any beginner, I would say audio books are not for the faint at heart. It’s time consuming, and myself being a part to full time voice talent it was a challenge. I devoted (full)time hours to completing this book. I work a 40hr job beside Voice work, so I took time off to work, so I could meet my deadline. 17 chapters in 14 days.I use Logic 9 Studio to do my work. Recording is the easy part. It’s not the reading…it’s the editing. In the end I was successful. It needs to be a planned event in your life. I learned a lot about ACX, the Audio book recording process and myself. It may sound cliche’ but it’s true. All challenges are a success until you quit…something I’ve held onto for years, since I gave up on myself once when I was a young teen in the military. Aligning your ideas with the vision the writer has for his work is KEY. Doing this for a 30 second commercial is easy (sometimes). 4-8 hrs is completely different.
    The book should be available in the next week or so on Amazon, ITunes and Audible. I hope you get the chance to listen. you can here some of my commercial work on my web site:

    http://www.JDsVoiceWorks.com

  4. When I was writing my first novel, The Flash of Midnight, I frequently used the automatic text-to-voice feature to listen to my writing. The sound was, of course, robotic, but it did give me an idea how the book would sound as an audiobook. It’s also a great way to discover typos that your eyes might skip over..Having been both an audio engineer and an actor, I recorded the audiobook myself and managed to sell it directly to Audible. Shortly thereafter, I started recording other people’s books for ACX and I’m now completing my thirteenth audiobook, with another one due next month. Thank you ACX.

  5. I started out a couple of years ago using a studio, an engineer, (who was curious and kind) and I paid for the mastering. WHOA. I realized my skills were going to have to develop quickly or I would only be working for the vanity of hearing my own voice! So last year I set up my own studio and began to study in earnest. My goal for this year was to do the editing and mastering of audiobooks that I narrate. I accomplished that earlier this year!
    This business is not for the easily wearied! It’s hard work but leaves me with an exhilarating feeling of creating a lasting, and hopefully inspiring and interesting body of work.
    Do not be deceived—getting all these parts of the job correct takes determination! Someday, I hope to write, as well.
    Thank you ACX for the opportunity! It doesn’t matter that we don’t live in LA or NYC. ❤

  6. This may be bad of me but I just now saw this Q&A. Thanks so much! 🙂

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